So Windows Xp is end of life on 2014-04-08 (a nice avoidance of April Fools Day). I originally thought that was fair enough, but is is really? To abandon a user base that large is taking a huge risk with the planet's computing infrastructure and it seems rather irresponsible of Microsoft to simply walk away muttering "Windows 8.1" after making enough billions for their founder to seek to address world poverty in his spare time.
Not that Apple is any better. It looks like about half of Apple's hardware has been cut off from support by Apple's abandonment of their 32-bit Intel platform. Ironically those machines have a 32/64-bit CPU and all it would take is a UEFI update to bring those machines back into the fold again.
Linux is an answer to abandoned Windows Xp users. But it's not as simple as it at first appears. For example, if you need an Exchange e-mail client you really need to be using Evolution from GNOME3 (the Evolution Exchange connector with GNOME2 simply has too many bugs which have since been solved). But it's harder to imagine a user interface further removed from Windows Xp than GNOME3. Sure there's shell extensions and tweak tools for the expert, but it's an unreasonable step for people coming from Windows Xp. I'm really hoping Cinnamon is the answer here but I've yet to try it.
Anyway, expect to see abandonware adopted as the latest threat by the secutitatii. Be interesting if they can find a way to make a quid from it, as they usually manage to do. Microsoft isn't holding back from the feeding trough: their online store has Windows 8.1 downloadable for a mere A$399. You'd almost think they'd rather you purchased one of their tablets.